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Need to Know: How will the Garcon-Jackson saga play out for the Redskins?

Need to Know: How will the Garcon-Jackson saga play out for the Redskins?

Here is what you need to know on this Thursday, January 5, 112 days before the NFL draft.

Timeline

Days until:
NFL free agency starts 63
NFL draft 112
First Sunday of 2017 season 248
 

Both stay, one stays, or both go—What happens at WR?

Besides the Kirk Cousins contract saga, which we’ll address here at some point soon, the free agency talk of the town centers on the Redskins’ two veteran wide receivers. Pierre Garçon and DeSean Jackson are both going to be free agents on March 9. They have other things in common as they both turned 30 last year and they both made big contributions to the offense with each of them gaining over 1,000 yards receiving in 2016.

Will the Redskins keep both of them? One of them? Neither of them? Let’s break out the $100 in imaginary casino chips and bet them on the chances of each of the possible scenarios coming to pass.

Both: $10 The Redskins have the cap space to pull this off. They will have around $60 million to work with, possibly more if they move on from some veterans and create more space. But each player is going to command a contract with an average annual value of at least $8-$10 million, maybe more. It simply would be bad cap management to invest some $16-$20 million a year in multiyear deals for two receivers who are over 30 years old.

Jackson only: $15 He can do things that nobody else can do. The combination of Jackson’s speed and uncanny ball-tracking ability (see the long catch in Philadelphia) makes him a unique talent. But it is starting to look like he has worn out his welcome due to his inconsistency on the field and some of his actions (and non-actions) outside the white lines. In short, he does not fit Scot McCloughan’s definition of a “football player”. There is a chance they might make a push for him if Garçon leaves and Jackson is still unsigned but it’s unlikely he’s in a Redskins uniform in 2017.

Garçon only: $40 On the other hand, Garçon was cited as an example of a “football player” by McCloughan in an interview last year. He was the model of consistency in 2016, compiling his 1,041 receiving yards while gaining under 50 yards receiving in a game just three times and going over 100 once. Garçon also is the model teammate, working hard and rarely missing practice. Despite all of that, there is a limit to how much the Redskins will pay him; there are other options to find a receiver who averages five catches per game. And while Garçon has talked of wanted to stay in the area, this is his last shot at a big contract and he may well choose to give a very small hometown discount if any at all.  

Neither: $35 I might be overplaying this a bit, having it just behind keeping Garçon only as an option. But the early chatter is that it is a real possibility. The interest in bringing back Jackson is limited and Garçon could easily be lured away. There are reports that the Redskins could be interested in Kenny Britt, who also posted 1,000 receiving yards this year and he was handicapped by playing in the Rams’ “junior high” offense. They could go with Josh Doctson and Jamison Crowder as the two primary receivers and get a lower-priced free agent to work the slot. It might be a rough transition but it may be the route they will have to take.

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Two other Redskins RBs intend to learn whatever they can from Adrian Peterson

Two other Redskins RBs intend to learn whatever they can from Adrian Peterson

A few weeks ago, running backs coach Randy Jordan floated a hypothetical out to his unit: If you could start a franchise with any guy, who would you pick?

Rob Kelley's answer was Adrian Peterson. And as fate would have it, Peterson is now a part of Kelley's franchise, a fact that has the third-year back floored. 

"I was kind of amazed," Kelley said on Tuesday, which was Peterson's first day as a 'Skin. "I have a opportunity to play with Adrian Peterson, it feels surreal."

Kapri Bibbs' reaction was much of the same.

"It's amazing having him in the building," he told reporters. "I couldn't hope for anything better."

Samaje Perine wasn't in a position to speak to the media by the time the locker room was closed, but at least in the eyes of Kelley and Bibbs, Peterson's arrival is something to embrace. It's not too often you get to go through drills and meetings with a guy who's going to have a bust in Canton sometime soon.

"I don't think there really is a cap to that," Bibbs answered when asked what he's hoping to pick up from Washington's new No. 26. "There's not too much you can learn from him."

"I got him here, what can I learn from him?" Kelley said in reponse to a similar question. "What can I gain from this situation? How can I make myself a better player by watching him?"

Bibbs revealed that Peterson is already "spilling information" to him, which lines up with Peterson saying at the podium in Ashburn he wants to come in and be a positive influence on the rest of the group.

However, Peterson also said in his presser that he "without a doubt" wants to be the starter, and if that does eventually happen, it'll come at the expense of someone else's spot on the roster or someone else's reps in a game, whether that be a Kelley, a Bibbs or a Perine.

That's not something that bothers two of the options already in the Burgundy and Gold's backfield, though.

"I'm always gonna come in every single day, regardless," Bibbs said when Peterson's resume and talents were brought up as something that could pressure him.

Kelley isn't stressed, either.

"Right now, I'm just putting my head down and working and trying to get better."

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Does Adrian Peterson want to start for the Redskins? 'Without a doubt'

Does Adrian Peterson want to start for the Redskins? 'Without a doubt'

Adrian Peterson wants to be a good teammate, but he also made clear that he came to the Redskins to compete for the starting running back job. 

"Without a doubt," Peterson said when asked if he wanted to start. "And I would be cheating myself if that wasn't my approach."

The legendary running back is right, of course. 

Elite athletes always want to be at the top, and that drive is what gets them there. Peterson has run for nearly 12,000 yards in his NFL career, and that doesn't happen by accident.

Coming to Washington presents a different challenge for Peterson. 

Unsigned until August 20th, Peterson ran for a career low 3.4 yards-per-carry last season in split time between the Saints and Cardinals. It's no sure thing he even makes the roster, let alone starts for the Redskins on September 9 when the season begins. 

Peterson, however, is confident he has more left in his legs. 

"I continue to work because at the end of the day I control my output. So that’s why I continue to work hard. I knew an opportunity would present itself. And at the end of the day, God’s willing, stay healthy, the guys up front stay healthy as well, I know that I’ll be able to contribute in a big way in the run game."

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